by B. B. Alston
First sentence: “I’m sitting in the principal’s office.”
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Content: There are some scary moments, mostly with monsters, and instances of bullying. It’s in the Middle Grade (grades 3-5) section of the bookstore.
Amari’s older brother (and hero), Quinton, has been missing for six months. He had graduated from high school, he had a job – or so he said – and then he just… disappeared. And it’s been affecting Amari’s school life, mostly because she just knows he’s not dead like everyone else assumes. And so when Quinton appears to her in a Wakeful Dream with a nomination to go to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs summer camp, she figures it’s the best way she has to find out what Really Happened.
Once there, though, Amari discovers that she is a magician; one with a percentage of magic so high that it’s almost impossible. This brings attention to her, and not always the good kind. Additionally, she is trying out to be a Junior Agent in the Department of Supernatural investigations, which is where her brother worked before his disappearance, and she’s met with all sorts of pushback for wanting to be one of the Elite. And, to top it all off, the evil magician Moreau (yes, like in the Island of Dr…) has a nefarious plan to destroy the Bureau and have magicians take over, and wants Amari to join him.
I think the marketing material is “Artemis Fowl” meets “Men in Black” but I think it’s more along the Percy Jackson lines. A girl, who doesn’t know her worth, finds a secret camp of people with similar powers, and comes into her own fighting a battle by the end of the book? Comparisons aside, this is a LOT of fun. I liked Amari, felt her struggles were real, glad she found some good friends along the way, and there was a satisfying ending as well as leaving things open for the next book in the series (which I immediately put on hold at the library). I think Alston is one of those writers who, like Riordan, has the potential to capture a whole generation (or two) of children’s imaginations.
I can’t wait to read the next one!
One thought on “Amari and the Night Brothers”
Glad you have joined the Amari fan club!